IT Online programmes available in 2012
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FAQs :: Additional FAQs...
If English is not my first language will this affect my application?
Students from outside of Ireland whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language ability meets the required standard for admission. The required standard is based on results from an acceptable English language proficiency test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. This evidence must be submitted with your application.Minimum RequirementsTOEFL 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based) orIELTS overall score of 6.0Either test must have been undertaken no more than two years prior to the commencement of the IT Online programme. Please contact the Programme Coordinator if you have any queries on the English language requirement.
If I change my mind about the IT Online course are fees refunded?
Once a student has registered for the programme, there is no obligation on the University to refund fees. However, in exceptional cases of extreme hardship or on medical grounds, you may appeal directly (in writing), to the Fees Office for a refund of fees paid (minus deposit). Appeals are considered on a case-by-case basis. It is in this regard that applicants are requested to inform themselves of the various requirements of the programme and to contact the Programme Coordinator for guidance on programme suitability.
How much study is involved in the programme?
Like many adults, you probably lead a busy life. You may have a job, a family and other responsibilities. Each IT Online module equates to a minimum of 3 hours per week for 8 weeks online, plus discussion/interaction time, plus additional study and research time. You should allow a minimum of 20 hours per week study time for each module. More time is often required. The MScSED also includes a final thesis which required additional work during year two of the programme.
I have to travel for my work, how will this affect my study programme?
Many applicants are involved in ongoing work-related travel. You should note that the weekly continuous assessment work is done off-line and uploaded on the last day of the week - generally Sunday. The formats of end of module exams vary, but are generally conducted off-line so you will have the entire week to complete them and upload again at the end of the Week Eight. In this final week, you will have less coursework and more time to research and prepare the final exam.As the course is entirely online, it is possible for you to complete your assessments while travelling for work. However, you are required to log onto the website regularly throughout the module and the programme requires approximately 20 hours of time per week to read the prescribed literature, research the topic, and then complete discussion questions on the topic and submit an assignment.
How relevant will the programme be to my day-to-day job?
As well as providing you with an opportunity to develop hands-on experience of software engineering (and database technologies, in the case of the MScSED) and other necessary professional skills, IT online programmes present you with an opportunity to specialise in certain IT topics or areas that may be of particular relevance to your organisation. This will give you a chance to explore particular areas that have direct relevance to your day-to-day job.
How is the programme examined?
IT Online programmes are examined entirely online. You study one module every 8 weeks of the programme. All assessments/assignments are carried out during and in the final week of each 8-week module. All module assessment will be completed before you embark on the next 8-week module.
I am worried about studying online, as I have never studied this way before. How can I tell if this mode of study will suit me?
Online learning is different to learning in a traditional classroom setting. It requires you to think differently about how you communicate with the university, interact with other students, complete assignments and exams, and most importantly, study. To be successful as an online student you should be able to answer "yes" to the following questions:
(a) Do you possess strong time management skills?
Online classes are offered in an accelerated format. You will be responsible for completing weekly assignments and participating in online threaded discussions. Online classes are flexible, but not self-paced. There are established timelines for submitting assignments and for class participation.
(b) Do you possess strong organisational skills?
In most cases, there are no established times during the week that you will have to be online. You will be given the how and the what, but the when will be up to you. You may find that 6:00 a.m. or 11:00 p.m. is the most convenient time for you to be online. Your ability to effectively organise your time will be crucial to your success.
(c) Are you self-motivated?
Due to the flexibility and convenience of online learning it is often easy to put off class work until the last minute. Self-motivation is key to staying current on assignments and completing class work in a timely manner. In an accelerated format it is very difficult to catch up once you have fallen behind.
(d) Do you enjoy working independently?
While there are opportunities to work with other students, the majority of work will be completed on your own. There is no face-to-face contact with faculty or other students. Online learning requires a greater than average self-discipline to be successful in your study programme.
(e) Are you comfortable working with technology?
All assignments, exams and correspondence with faculty and other students are conducted 100% online. The ability to correspond via e-mail; send, receive and view documents; participate in threaded discussions; and have access to a reliable Internet connection is mandatory.
(f) Do you enjoy a challenge?
Online learning in an accelerated format requires you to spend more time per week per class than you would typically spend in a traditional classroom setting. The very nature of learning online requires more in-depth study and interaction with faculty and other students than what is traditionally required.
You can expect to spend a minimum of 20 hours of study time per week per class. This interaction is not done in any set time as each student studies on their own time - many students log on in the evenings and at weekends. Due to the weekly timeline of the course there is a lot of interaction between you and your facilitator each week. You post regularly in discussion forums and are in e-mail contact with your facilitator. Generally, the facilitator checks into the forums every day and so is on hand quickly if there is a query.